After losing a late lead last night, the Tennessee Smokies (36-25, 70-60) look to get back to their winning ways in Game 3 of their series against the Mobile BayBears (35-27, 74-57). First pitch is scheduled for 5:00 PM from Smokies Park.
WHAT’S AT STAKE: Thanks to Pensacola’s win last night, the Smokies can clinch the North Division tonight with a win and a Birmingham loss. A win or a Jackson loss would clinch them a playoff spot.
Mobile: Archie Bradley (10-5, 2.07): Now that Kyle Hendricks has moved to Triple-A, Bradley has the top ERA of any starter in the Southern League. Bradley also ranks first in strikeouts per nine innings and third in opponent’s batting average. He has won his last four starts coming in and made his only start against the Smokies on June 10 earning a no-decision allowing two runs in seven innings.
Tennessee: Nick Struck (0-1, 3.86): Struck is coming off his best start of the season allowing one unearned run in 5.2 innings against Birmingham on August 20. Tonight will be his fourth start with Double-A Tennessee and his third at Smokies Park. In his two home starts, Struck is 0-1 with a 5.91 ERA.
LAST TIME OUT: The Smokies allowed two runs in the 7th and 8th innings to fall to the BayBears for the second straight night by the final count of 4-3. Mike Freeman hit the go-ahead single in the 8th to reach base for the third time in the game. Justin Bour and Rubi Silva hit back-to-back home runs in the 3rd inning as four of Tennessee’s five runs in this series have come in via the solo home run.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Mike Freeman: Freeman reached base three times last night and delivered the go-ahead single in the top of the 8th. He has hits in six of his last seven games.
Ender Inciarte: The tablesetter for the BayBears had two more hits last night to raise his average to .282. That ranks ninth in all of the Southern League and his 43 stolen bases rank first.
Justin Bour: Bour launched a solo home run and drove in two runs in the Smokies 4-3 loss. The home run was his first since August 9 against Montgomery.
Rubi Silva: Silva left the yard for the second straight game and now has 15 on the season. It’s the first time he’s homered in back-to-back games since April 15-16 in Huntsville.
KEY TO THE GAME: The Smokies have struggled to drive in runners in the first two games of this series. They are hitless in 12 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
TUNE IN: The broadcast will be available on our flagship station, The Sports Animal WNML AM 990 and on FM 99.1 in Knoxville beginning at 4:45 ET with the Pilot & Oscar Mayer Pregame Show. You can also listen to the broadcast in its entirety on smokiesbaseball.com as well as the Smokies mobile app.